A brokered convention: Jeb Bush vs. Sarah Palin rough draft
by Bernie Quigley
For The Hill on 2/11/12
Donald Trump asks how can Rick Santorum be running for President? It is like someone who just flunked out of high school and now wants to apply to The Wharton School of Business. Because something today is missing in the center of conservatism that is driving people to the edges is why. And because Santorum is handsome, young and in 2011 still thinks like a 70-year old man in the 1950s. This is now the "back to the future party" which is making it a magnet to the strange and the miscreant. A related problem: At least half of Republicans today can think of nothing but Jeb Bush. The center hopes to destroy all new growth and default to monarchist dynasty. Why now they are born to lose, why the bitterness and bile and viral nihilism at CPAC 2012, and why Obama rises this week to 64 % at Intrade. The Republicans want a young and handsome politician who reminds them of themselves when they were 12. And Jeb Bush, dutiful son, presents the pristine paradigm.
The Bush secret agenda has been a subliminal theme at the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post. At CPAC it breaks through to the surface: Al Cardenas, head of the American Conservative Union, says that Republican turmoil might lead to a brokered convention in which Jeb Bush would emerge as a “possible alternative” party nominee. It made Drudge this weekend.
Conservatism is at the shore of a new awakening but is afraid to cross the river. It goes back to Texas Governor Rick Perry’s Texas primary race. From Quigley’s “Pundit’s Blog” January 21, 2010: “The Austin Statesman reports that former President George H.W. Bush will endorse U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in the Republican primary for governor in her race against Rick Perry. Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Margaret Spellings and Karen Hughes [W.’s agent] also support Hutchison . . . But Sarah Palin supports Rick Perry and will appear with him at a rally on Super Bowl Sunday. Does one Sarah Palin equal a Bush, a Rove, a Spellings and a Hughes? In Texas, I believe it does.”
Perry won in a landslide. But why would the Bush establishment pull out all the stops to support Hutchison, who was sure to lose? Because they saw a new conservative movement building with Perry and Palin and were determined early on to stamp it out. They still are.
Santorum’s contraception boom – “We’re all Catholics now,” said Mike Huckabee – won’t hold up. Because we’re not. This race could well go to a brokered convention. If so, after Jeb Bush is proposed, so Sarah Palin should be proposed. She is now and always has been the singular Jacksonian voice in this movement; the only one who can bring it to the mainstream. Her absence from the primary race has left a vacuum and no substitute has been found. Every possible challenge now to the alternative or “anti-Eastern establishment” position of liberty, Tea Party and Constitutionalism has risen and receded.
Bush/Christie or Christie/ Bush as “new establishment” representation is bound to bring muffled chuckles (“Hey Abbott!!!”) and Obama will win in a landslide. But Bush/Christie v Palin/Rick Perry positions coming head to head at the Republican Convention would pit the storied realms of Dexter and Paulie Walnuts; the most notoriously corrupt, burned out, busted up, used up, dangerous, underwater and broke eastern states, against the new, independent, free-seeking western states, Texas and Alaska. Now that would be interesting.